Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – Barely a day after Nigeria’s oldest airline, Aero Contractors, shut down operation placing 1,400 staff on indefinite leave, another national airline, First Nation, has also suspended business.
First Nation Airways was formed in April 2011 by former staff of defunct Bellview Airlines.
Unlike Aero Contractors, which on its own announced the indefinite suspension of operation, Nigeria’s aviation authority, the National Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said on Thursday that First Nation has been ordered to shut down for mandatory maintenance.
NCAA Director General Muhtar Usman said in a statement that the indefinite suspension of operation by First Nation followed its engine replacement programme involving one of the aircraft in its fleet.
Usman added that with another aircraft due for mandatory maintenance in line with NCAA’s regulations, the airline cannot continue its operation.
“In these circumstances, these airlines clearly cannot continue to undertake scheduled operations, hence the inevitable recourse to self-regulatory suspension. It is against the Nigerian civil aviation regulations for airline operators to carry out scheduled commercial operations with only one aircraft,” Usman said.
The suspension of Aero Contractors took effect Thursday.
-0- PANA MON/AR 1Sept2016